Education Minister Welcomes Australian Universities to Set-up Campuses in India, Raises Issue of Students Visas

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan is on a four-day visit to Australia to strengthen India-Australia ties and collaborate in education, research and skill development. He visited various schools, higher education and skilling institutions in Sydney on Monday.  The minister is co-chairing the sixth meeting of the Australia India Education Council with his Australian counterpart Jason Clare.

Ahead of the meeting, the education minister raised the issue of pending visas of Indian students going to Australia. He said the Australian govt is keen on expediting the visas as well as establishing university-to-university collaborations for offering dual degree programmes. Pradhan added that Australian universities and skilling institutions are welcomed to set their campuses in India and also explore areas of collaboration.

Pradhan also visited Homebush West Public School in the New South Wales state to get insights on school excellence frameworks and best practices in universalising early childhood education. Speaking on the occasion, the minister said affordable, accessible and universal early education for children is key towards better learning outcomes and a brighter future for all.

He further said that the best practices and positive experiences in early education and digital learning at NSW can be replicated in India to make early childhood care and education equitable and accessible, and for strengthening childhood care frameworks, especially also after school hours.

He further said that India is also setting up a multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional Gati Shakti University with an aim to create a next-generation of skilled professionals to support the growing logistics, infrastructure development and transport sector. The minister along with HE Jason Clare also visited Institute of Applied Technology at TAFE NSF.

Prior to his departure to Australia, the minister had said that the India-Australia bilateral relations aims to open up opportunities for both the sides to establish the knowledge economy as a key pillar of cooperation. “The tour will add momentum to our unity of purpose, help build trans-national knowledge bridges, further broaden our engagements at all levels in all areas of learning, skilling, research, innovation and entrepreneurship and deepen people-to-people connect,” he added.

Pradhan is also scheduled to visit Kangan Institute and Deakin University in Melbourne. “He will meet academicians and leaders of Australian education and skilling ecosystem and vibrant Indian diaspora residing in Melbourne. Pradhan will hold a virtual bilateral meeting with Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Skills and Training.

— with inputs from PTI

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